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Cannabis: What dose is right for you?

Body and Mind
Body and Mind October 3, 2022

With legal recreational marijuana in 19 states across the country, securing cannabis products is now easier than ever. Most of these states house full-fledged, centrally regulated markets where all kinds of cannabis products like gummies, salves, pre-rolls, and edibles can be bought off retail stores. But how

This means recreational marijuana is commonplace and you may be thinking of trying it out with your crew. That said, it is important you know how much to consume.

The right cannabis dose for beginners depends on the type of product and potency, among other things.

Known by hundreds of different names worldwide, cannabis, weed, or marijuana, is a psychoactive drug with both recreational and medicinal uses. The term is used as a blanket description of the flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant, which you might better know as hemp.

To better understand cannabis products and cannabis dosing you need to understand what compounds are present in the plant.

The legality of Cannabis Across the United States – Source: Wikipedia

What is the chemical composition of cannabis?

Cannabis extracts contain up to 120 active ingredients (primarily different oils) called cannabinoids. One of the most important elements of these is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound that is behind the euphoric and psychoactive effects of cannabis.

The second most abundant ingredient in cannabis is cannabidiol, or CBD. There is conclusive scientific evidence that shows that CBD helps manage chronic pain, nausea and vomiting linked to chemotherapy, and some symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Marijuana products, in general, have often been linked to positive, hunger-inducing effects on patients with anxiety or other mental disorders and even terminal illnesses like AIDS. When medical marijuana was first legalized in the U.S, it was due to building pressure from Bay Area AIDS activists who found it induced much needed hunger in withering patients.

There are several methods of extracting marijuana from the hemp plant. Based on what ingredients are preserved during these processes, marijuana products are classified into three broad types:

  • Isolates – These usually contain low or trace amounts of THC and are used exclusively for medicinal purposes.
  • Broad spectrum – These contain slightly higher amounts of THC with other important components, which lead to the entourage effect.
  • Full Spectrum – These are the most potent and contain permissible levels of THC. They are primarily used for recreational purposes

What are the different ways of using cannabis?

Before getting on to the topic of dosage, you should first familiarize yourself with the various ways in which cannabis is used.

Some of the different purposes cannabis products are used for are :

  • Smoking: This is the fastest way to get active ingredients contained in cannabis into your system. This method involves rolling cannabis leaves or flowers into a smokable mix. Marijuana is usually smoked for its psychoactive/pain numbing effects.
  • Vaping: If smoking is not your preference, cannabis vapes offer a more convenient and discrete alternative. However, it is important that cannabis vapes are sourced from legal dispensaries.
  • Edibles and drinks: Cannabis infused edibles like gummies, cookies, crisps, or chocolates offer the same effects as smoking or vaping. The only difference is that the absorption there takes place through the digestive system, which means they take longer to kick in. The same is true for cannabis infused drinks.
  • Creams, lotions, patches, and bath salts: These cannabis products are designed for transdermal absorption (through the skin). They take even longer for the body to absorb than smoking and ingesting, but the effects (although much milder) are known to last much longer.
  • Tinctures and sprays: Tinctures are liquids extracted from the cannabis plant and mixed with alcohol and water. Both tinctures and sprays are designed for sublingual use, which means they are applied under the tongue.

What are factors that affect your cannabis dose?

As with all such things, there is a wide variety of factors that come into play while determining the optimal dose of cannabis. This is especially true if you are a beginner, meaning that your body is about to be introduced to a mix of organic chemicals it has never experienced before.

The following are some of the key factors to keep in mind while deciding the cannabis dose that’s right for you. However, remember that these factors are not definitive, as every person reacts differently to cannabis, based on their particular physiology, health, and past experience with psychoactive substances.

  • Height and Weight: Generally speaking, you will need a higher dose of cannabis if you’re taller and/or heavier than the average person. The rates at which the body absorbs and metabolizes cannabis differ from person to person according to these two key characteristics.
  • Age: The general rule here is that the older you are, the longer it will take to feel the effects of cannabis. The operative factor here is metabolism, which tends to slow down in proportion to your age. By the same token, you are more likely to feel the effects of cannabis faster if you are younger. The essential thing here is to give your body the time it needs to metabolize cannabis.
  • Gender: There is some clinical evidence to suggest that men and women react differently to cannabis based on their behavioral, hormonal, and genetic variances. Early research suggests some of these variations in the reaction can be pinned down to differences in fat tissue distribution and muscle mass in males and females. Cannabis is known to affect food intake and energy balance in men while impacting mood and stress related issues in women. However, the research in this area is still in its early stages. The primary factor that affects cannabis dosage in any human being is their metabolism, which does not vary that much with gender.
  • Cannabis profile: This is probably the most important factor in determining dosage. Due to its growing popularity, dispensaries today offer cannabis products with varying amounts of THC and CBD. You can choose products with different ratios of THC to CBD in order to experiment (preferably with your crew) in order to find the right amount for yourself.

What’s your ideal cannabis dose?

Even with all that we have discussed so far, choosing the right dose of cannabis can be tricky for a beginner because there is no standardized optimal dose.

Further, effects depend both on the overall quantity of cannabis used, as well as the amounts and ratios of active ingredients in it, albeit not always linearly. For instance, a puff of cannabis with 15% THC will have three times the effect as three puffs of a 5% THC strain.

Having said that, there are a few general benchmarks for cannabis first-timers and beginners.

How to begin finding your ideal dose

The universally agreed mantra in the cannabis world is: “start low, go slow”. The best thing for a beginner would be to start off with a single dose of 1 mg – 2.5 mg THC. However, there is a possibility that some people will not feel any effect at this level. This is often referred to as a microdose.

The next recommended level is 5 mg in a single dose. Although most beginners are likely to feel the effects of cannabis at this level, it is still referred to as a ‘low dose’.

What the cannabis industry commonly calls a standard dose is somewhere between 10 mg – 15 mg of THC per single dose. At this level, you are likely to experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis as well as feelings of euphoria and physical relaxation.

How much cannabis can you have in one day?

The total daily intake of cannabis is another value that you need to be careful about.

For a beginner, 15 mg THC per day is the ideal recommended limit. Intermediate users can feel safe up to 25 mg per day. Anything over 30 mg THC per day is likely to increase the adverse effects of cannabis.

How long does it take weed to kick in?

Depending on the method of consumption, cannabis takes different amounts of time to kick into effect.

  • For smoking and vaping, effects usually begin to appear in 10-15 minutes.
  • For tinctures, sprays and oils that are absorbed through the skin, you’ll be waiting around 45-50 minutes before feeling anything.
  • Edibles and drinks that are absorbed through the digestive system take the longest to show effects, often up to 3 hours after ingestion for the full effects to take place.

It is also important that everyone, but especially beginners use cannabis in a safe and comfortable environment. And don’t plan to go diving or taking your motorcycle out for a spin after your consume cannabis, even if you have not begun feeling the effects yet.

What are the effects of cannabis according to dosage?

As a beginner, and depending on the dosage, this is what you can expect from cannabis:

  • A 1 mg – 2.5 mg intake is likely to show mild relief to symptoms like stress, anxiety or pain, with a bout of increased focus and creativity.
  • A 5 mg dose should result in stronger relief to pain and anxiety symptoms, accompanied by euphoria, some degree of altered perception and coordination.
  • A 10 mg dose is likely to bring on pronounced euphoric effects, together with markedly impaired coordination and perception.
  • Doses of 20 mg and above are a strict no-go for beginners and not considered safe. Doses in the 50 mg – 100 mg range may lead to major side effects including nausea, hallucinations and increased heart rates if you don’t have the tolerance for that amount.

What are some tips for beginners?

  1. Mood is important. You’d be wiser putting your cannabis session off for another day if you are agitated for whatever reason or in an unpleasant mood. Do it only when you feel right.
  2. Stay hydrated, especially when using edibles. Also, try for the sweet spot between eating them on an empty stomach and on a completely full stomach. The experience is likely to be unpleasant in either extreme scenario.
  3. Develop a nose for it. There’s no gut feeling involved here, but the aromatic elements of cannabis offer a natural way for you to zero in on the right product. Let your sense of smell guide you to what’s best for you.
  4. Don’t strain yourself. Cannabis is sold in two broad strains – indica and sativa. Try not to give in to popular perceptions about how these strains work differently. Instead, ask specialist dispensary staff to help you make your selection.
  5. Let go of past experiences. If you’ve had a bad episode with an intoxicant in the past, try not to let that affect your cannabis experience. As long as you have done enough research and are careful of the dosage, you should be fine.
  6. Read the label. When out shopping for cannabis products, make sure to go through the product information, ingredient list and warnings in intricate detail. You need to be familiar with all that information before consuming anything.
  7. Be cautious of overconsumption. Even with the best of preparations and intentions, sometimes we end up doing too much of a good thing. In such an eventuality, remain calm and try to sleep it off.
  8. Find a brand you can trust. The sheer number of cannabis brands and labels out there can be distracting. Choosing a reputable and trusted brand should be your topmost priority.

At Body and Mind, we’re proud to have built a brand that many newcomers and pros alike love and trust. Each of our products comes with labels that tell you about the ingredients and potency of products. In addition, our customer service associates are knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile to ensure you’ve the best time!

Remember, cannabis is not just a product but an experience. Make sure you get the best out of it while maintaining personal safety.

Body and Mind
Body and Mind October 3, 2022

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